Thomas Jefferson signed letter brings a message from history to Spink Smythe

Spink Smythe's two day auction which is set to get underway tomorrow includes an impressive range of bonds, share, coins and banknotes, but we're going to focus in on a classic piece of Americana from the autographs section.

This is a manuscript from the time of the American Revolution: a correspondence signed by Thomas Jefferson and George Rogers Clark. The rare and historic document is autographed by Thomas Jefferson as Governor of Virginia, and G.R. Clark twice as commander of Continental forces in the northwestern frontier.

The two pages request the treasurer of Virginia to please pay Monsr. Rago Bovay the sum of four hundred and forty four dollars and four fifths, it being for flour etc, furnished for the troops stationed in the Illinois Country.

Famed collector Floyd Risvold's label appears on the front pastedown.

Thomas Jefferson correspondence manuscript autograph
Third President-to-be Thomas Jefferson's signed correspondence

George Rogers Clark (1752-1818) commanded western Virginia militia (from what would later become Kentucky) in the Revolutionary War, pushing into the territory north of the Ohio River. His victories against the small British outposts there would convince England to cede the Northwest Territory to the United States in the Treaty of Paris.

Despite payments like the present one, Clark was never fully reimbursed for the expenses he bore during his service in the Revolutionary War. As Monsieur Bovay's name suggests, the region that is now Illinois was settled primarily by Native Americans and French-speakers, who were only too glad to assist Britain's enemies.

Just two months after signing this decision, Governor Thomas Jefferson suffered the most humiliating moment of his political career: warned that a column of redcoats under Banastre Tarleton was nearing his home, he fled the area, giving the impression that he had abandoned his post.

The manuscript is expected to achieve $10,000 when it sells in New York or online in the November 15-16 auction.

Documents written and/or signed by the founding fathers are of course greatly coveted, which is why we are so confident in offering this lottery ticket signed by George Washington with our unique 120% guarantee.

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